Surrounded by an exotic garden, a new multigenerational house in north London is intended to be functioning and inclusive. Haycroft Gardens, designed by architect Sarah Wigglesworth and her team, is a sustainable masterwork cleverly disguised as a comfy home.
Commissioned to design a home for an infill site in Kensal Green, Wigglesworth was asked to create a single-level, three-bedroom residence that would accommodate both a young family and an aged parent—with an emphasis on long-term needs like mutual support, accessibility, comfort, energy use and adaptability.
The project was constructed with environmental sustainability and Passivhaus principles in mind. A specialist timber frame manufacturer was enlisted, while an air-source heat pump and MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) supply heating and ventilation. The objective was for the home to use very little energy.
The land once housed a dairy farm, and as such boasted lower, smaller volumes, arranged like farm structures. A greenhouse, with a pergola, is the only remainder of the original complex that remained on site, and was preserved and incorporated to preserve the plot’s heritage and supply continuity.
The home’s plan assumes an L-shaped formation, with a tropical garden supplying its centrepiece. An open concept kitchen/dining/living area open toward the greenery by way of floor-to-ceiling glazing. The entry to the property was built in its own, independent cedar-wood structure, established along the border of a period property that faces the street – ensuring privacy.
Wigglesworth, who is esteemed for her own eco-friendly home (Stock Orchard Street) in north London, states that this is the inaugural house she has designed since Stock Orchard Street, more than two decades ago. She cherished the chance to apply her expertise of green buildings, updated and improved, and her knowledge of older people’s, multigenerational and downsizer homes to design the perfect family home—not to mention a model of sustainability.